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Saugus Boys Rebound with Win Over Fishermen

Josh Osawe-2
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   Having suffered a short-lived bump in the road last Friday night against Salem, the Saugus High School boys’ basketball team got back on the winning track Tuesday at home by defeating the Gloucester Fishermen, 65-58. It was the Sachems seventh victory in their last nine games.

   Saugus is also playoff bound at 12-5 overall, having made the postseason with their 10th win against Lynn Tech early last week. In Tuesday’s game against the Fishermen, the Sachems actually fell behind by a significant 15-2 margin early but recovered to enter the halftime break with a five-point lead.

   “The team stepped up and got a few stops in a row to get back on track,” said head coach Joe Bertrand of Tuesday’s game. “Credit Gloucester who fought back in the third [quarter] after we went up by 12 halfway through. We were down by one with five minutes to go [in the game] but after a pair of free throws by Max Anajjar we took a one-point lead and never looked back..”

   Anajjar would finish with 16 points but it was Ben Tapia-Gately who led the offensive attack with 24 points. Chris Flynn also had a strong outing by netting 19. Bertrand cited the defensive effort in the final minutes as the deciding factor. “Our defense won us the game by leaving Gloucester scoreless in the last couple of minutes,” he observed.

   In an exciting 78-76 overtime triumph over the KIPP Academy Panthers last Wednesday at home, Saugus received a mammoth performance from Tapia-Gately, who poured in 30 points to help lead the way. Josh Osawe had an excellent game of his own by finishing with 21 points while Isaiah Rodriguez also reached double figures with 17.

   The Sachems were trailing 64-61 with just under two minutes left in regulation when Osawe sank a three-pointer to tie it. Osawe then hit from close range to make it 66-64 with under a minute remaining. KIPP was able to tie it at 66 and that’s how it stood entering the extra session.

   In the OT, a Tapia-Gately layup with about 40 seconds left proved to be the winning basket, as the Sachems held the Panthers pointless from there (aided by a key steal by Cam Soroko), and, as a result, emerged with their 11th win of the season.

   Last Friday, the Sachems traveled to Salem and fell by a convincing 69-35 margin to the Witches. To its credit, Saugus was able to shake off the effects of that loss to emerge victorious over Gloucester on Tuesday.

   Moving forward, the Sachems played at Danvers on Thursday and host Peabody next Tuesday (scheduled 7 p.m. tip off).

Ben Tapia-Gately-2
Saugus guard Ben Tapia-Gately threw down 24 points in Tuesday’s home victory over Gloucester. He reached the 30 plateau in last week’s OT win over KIPP Academy.
Max Anajjar-2
Saugus’s Max Anajjar contributed 16 points in Tuesday’s win over Gloucester.
Josh Osawe-2
Saugus player Josh Osawe dropped in 21 points in an overtime win over KIPP Academy last week.

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